The Western Isles 15


The blackhouse at Arnol, the only one still intact in Lewis. Smoke from the peat fire
inside permeates the thatch (and clothes, and lungs), drying it out and preserving
it; if the fire went out, the roof would rot away. The thatch drains into the
earth-filled gap between the inner and outer walls, making a windproof
seal of mud. Hebrideans still lived in these until the post-war years,
as late as the early 1970s.

The Western Isles · Detail · Speedysnail
©2004 Rory Ewins